Screening and characterization of probiotic bacteria Indian fermented foodK. Keerthana, Keerthika, Manju Prioya,U. Prithika*

Millet grains are a very important high energy nutritious dietary source and the crops are resistant to drought, pests and can be grown in a shorter time span.  Millets contain 60-70% carbohydrates, 7-11% proteins, 1.5-5% fat, and 2-7% crude fibre and are also rich in vitamins and minerals. They are excellent source of vitamin B, magnesium, and antioxidants. Millet is also a good source of other dietary minerals like manganese, phosphorus and iron. Millet proteins are good source of essential amino acids except lysine and threonine but are relatively high in sulphur containing amino acids methionine and cysteine.  Pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet and proso millet are commonly used in India. Millets also contain prebiotic and probiotic bacterial which have a role in the production of fermented foods.  This study aimed at identifying probiotic bacteria present in fermented millet foods.  Traditional foods such as Koozhu was prepared under controlled fermentation and the microbes were plated and identified. We identified Bacillus and yeast spp. From these foods. Further we are characterizing them to understand their role in millet fermentation and prevention of growth of pathogenic bacteria.